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Time Management

INFJ Time Strengths
People with this style tend to be effective at laying out a plan with key milestones. Their natural tendency to track progress helps them know where they are in the accomplishment of a goal or task. They can be a positive influence on others as they help them schedule, plan, and set goals.

INFJ Time Challenges
The challenge for people with this style is in estimating the time a project will take. They may forget to include time in the plan for interruptions and other people's needs for using time differently. They also sometimes can get bogged down in details or may disregard certain details altogether if they don't fit with their picture of the end result. 

Adapted from Susan K. Gerke and Karon West, 
Quick Guide to Interaction Styles and Time Dynamics

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For INFJs,  planning is usually a good way to realize their idealistic visions and strong convictions about how things ought to be (particularly how they ought to be for people).  Typically they start with the big picture and how various elements are or could be related, attending to some essential details later.  One INFJ described planning like this:  "I scribble big picture ideas on a yellow pad, adding details as I go.  I recopy plans several times; each one is more organized and detailed."  They are likely to be open to altering established plans only if there is a better way of realizing the goals and values that will not be detrimental to people.  When generating plans, INFJs may experience tension between their interest in newness and change and honoring what has been proven to be comfortable.

Use of Planners

INFJs usually prefer to organize their efforts so that there is balance between organization and structure and concern for people and humane values.  To maintain this focus, many INFJs make lists and report using a variety of tools, ranging from simple appointment books and "mental time schedules" to more elaborate, and sometimes electronic, systems.

What INFJs say about their style:

Typical Approaches

  • "Working backward from a deadline to scope out what has to be done by when.  Getting the big picture done; i.e., the rough draft, and then squeezing in the details into 'the cracks in my schedule.'"

  • Working from a definite sense of values and what is important; being clear that you really want to do something before agreeing to do it

  • Rewarding one's self for completing an uninteresting task.

Time Traps

  • Underestimating how much time a project will take and then becoming overwhelmed or overextended

  • Dealing with multiple, competing priorities

  • Exploring an interesting idea too intensely.  "I get so deeply involved in some major projects that all else must wait, and I may overlook scheduled appointments."

  • Being distracted.

  • "I hate working in a messy environment and tend to start clearing and cleaning instead of attending to important tasks."

Getting Back on Track

  • Going back to the overview of what needs to be done, reestablishing priorities or changing them if necessary.

  • Letting some things be "less than perfect."

  • Seclude myself -- close the door, don't answer the phone.

-Excerpted from Out of Time, Larry Demarest


The Experience of Time

Time Mgmt book

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